In another of my irregular postings on climate denial in adverts here is a selection of French press ads for gas-gourmand SUVs and energy companies that combine arrogance with racism in the quest for new frontiers to destroy.
In this advert a subservient bear is bringing the keys to the Jeep in his teeth. The slogan is “Man has always dreamt of taming nature”. Those Jeep emissions lead to increased temperatures lead to increased range of the pine beetle, destroying entire forests of Whitebark Pines the seeds of which are a crucial source of winter food for Grizzlies in the US northwest. Taming is just another word for exterminating.
The frontier is also evoked by the ‘savage primative’. The ads follow the lead of generations of French intellectuals in romanticizing and patronizing indigenous peoples. In this advert a model is daubed in war paint under the slogan ‘Savage Dream’ to promote the Jeep Cherokee. One might think that after 500 years of smallpox, syphilis, tuberculosis, and state sanctioned massacres the Cherokee Nation might be allowed a little respect.
The Amazonian peoples have undoubtedly fared even worse, but are still portrayed as idiot savants in these ads. The copy for the Citroen C3 tells us “when Héyoka came back to his tribe, he brought together his people in order to tell them about his vision: it was the new C3 X-TR. In his vision, Héyoka felt first much robustness and security – then much comfort and adaptability – and also a true pleasure in driving …Even the oldest people in the tribe had never had such a vision’.
And finally here is another piece of tribal wisdom. This advert for EDF, the largest power company in France and the world’s largest nuclear operator carries the slogan: “We develop tomorrow’s energies for future generations”. But what kind of extraordinary logic uses the Easter Island statues as a progressive image? The Easter Island civilization collapsed from deforestation and overpopulation. The statues are a symbol of hubris and denial in the face of an impending environmental disaster. What staggering stupidity to use them to promote nuclear power.
The adverts and analysis can be found on the website of the French ‘Alliance pour La Planete’ link… and I am indebted to Laurence Ledoux for drawing them to my attention and providing translations. Please everyone, keep sending me absurd and disturbing adverts.